we went a few weeks back and stayed in lower east side, so glad we did as feel we wouldve missed out on this side of new york had we stayed right next to the tourist attractions. taxis are plentiful but we did tons of walking, very necessary given all the yummy restaurants we went to! of which tons were on our doorstep, we had a few recommendations then a waiter gave us some more on the first night and all were amazing.
we stayed at 'hotel on rivington' lovely boutique hotel and the surrounding area has amazing bars restaurants and shops. was close to the subway, though we never used it, and is near the famous Katz deli (from the when Harry met Sally film)
some restaurant recommendations for you (all are quite relaxed not fancy places but AMAZING food!): (most are turn up and wait so go 30-40 mins before you think you'll be hungry!
Katz deli- for pastrami sandwiches and bagels
The Spotted *** - Michelin starred quirky pub/restaurant with amazing food in west village
Momofuku Noodle Bar - great for lunch or dinner. So good I bought their cookbook! Have the pork buns, addictive!
Momofuku also has ssam bar, another rest we decided to have dinner at we loved it that much!
The Meatball Shop - as it sounds, was near our hotel. The BEST meatballs I have ever had!! unfortunately their cookbook wasnt out before we left or I wouldve bought that one too! (have decided cookbooks are my new holiday souvenirs!)
Colluccio and Sons - book for this one, fab Italian food in very glam restaurant nr Chelsea
Buddakan (meatpacking district) - like buddha bars style of food but more of a restaurant, quite trendy, again amazing food here, this was where the waiter gave us his great recommendations
Serendipity - this is a daytime one if your near Bloomingdales, go here via Dylans Candy Bar (famous sweet shop) as its on the way, is a really quirky cafe that serves amazing sundaes, eat lunch first at your peril, we only had starters and shared the halloween sundae which was a monster! we couldnt finish it all! again expect a little wait but we put our names down and went back to dylans for a nosy there before coming back for our table.
Another recommendation we had that looked great (but didnt go cos hubby had shorts on and felt undressed) was Rouge Tomate, this is just near central Park and looked quite healthy.
As you can tell I LOVED New York and its food!! def want to go back there again, we had another ton of recommendations we never got to sample.
All of these have websites.
Tourist stuff, we did Empire State at sunset. book it online before you go, we didnt and queued 40 mins and nearly missed sunset.
Also Ground Zero is ticgain book before you go. We didnt
We didnt go to Statue of Liberty as it was heaving and dont do crowds, we took the staton Island Ferry which is free and goes past it. If you have a DSLR you'll get great pics anyway.
Chelsea Market is actually quite a cool place to walk around and is nr the The Highline Park, which is a park raised above the city formed from the dis-used railway tracks. Is a nice way to walk across town.
My sis in law did ice skating in central park and recommended it but we didnt have suitable clothes and hubby was scared!
take warm clothing! take sensible footwear! Oh and wine prices are about the same as they are here!